Adam Smith under Attack, Long Live Free Markets!

“Adam Smith was a radical and revolutionary in his time — just as those of us who preach laissez faire are in our time.” — Milton Friedman
On Tuesday night, June 13, Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics and free-market capitalism, came under sharp attack in my debate with Gene Epstein, economics editor of Barron’s, at the Soho Forum in New York City (see www.thesohoforum.org). Most of the time, it’s the socialists and Marxists who criticize the Smith model of free enterprise, but this time it sadly came from a libertarian.

Mark Skousen debates Gene Epstein at the Soho Forum, with Naomi Brockwell (middle) as moderator.
I started off the debate demonstrating that Adam Smith, professor extraordinaire of the Scottish enlightenment, and his magnum opus book, “The Wealth of Nations,” had a dramatically positive impact around the world, especially in dismantling trade barriers between countries. The world has benefited tremendously from

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